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Naspers' roundabout way into big-time search
If this post by a Russian called Yakov on his blog at http://blog.quitura.com is anything to go by, Naspers' new "partner" in the Mail.ru project could just turn out to be a lucky break for Naspers in Russia.
After acquiring a minority stake in Digital Sky Technologies (DST), majority owner of Russian portal Mail.ru (in which Naspers holds 32%) recently, Alisher Usmanov is now apparently trying to buy a 10% - 20% share in Russia's leading search engine Yandex.
Should that happen and assuming Koos and Alisher strike up a good working relationship, Naspers could just be edging closer to an involvement in Russia's most successful search engine, which is also Europe's third most used search engine.
Now, would that be something?
Usmanov is not just anyone. (That's why I think Koos would enjoy his company.) For a nice portrait of Usmanov, check Wikipedia out here:
And here a shortened version of Yakov's post (dated 4 August):
"Alisher Usmanov, founder of Metalloinvest holding and owner of Kommersant publishing house, is in the process of becoming a major investor in Russia's leading search engine Yandex, the Russian business daily Vedomosti reported.
According to the newspaper, Usmanov is negotiating to buy 10%-20% in Yandex from the founding managers of the company, as well as new shares in the upcoming IPO on NASDAQ. Based on the company’s expected valuation of about $5 billion, the stake could be worth $1 billion.
The investment banks Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and Renaissance Capital are managing the Yandex IPO.
In 2007 Yandex generated revenue of $167 million. Yandex accounted for 54% of all search traffic in Russia in Q1 2008, ahead of Google (19%) and Rambler (14%). In May 2008 Comscore ranked Yandex the third most popular search property in Europe with 528 million monthly searches."
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The correct link is http://blog.quintura.com
Check Quintura site search on Maxim (http://www.maxim.com)